From the Mommy Files…

Archive for July 2011

They say children say the darndest things. Have you ever been amazed at some of the things your child says? That some things they say are remarkably wise, and well beyond their years? Boo, now almost 4-1/2, continues to amaze me with some of the things she comes up with.

Here are some of her Boo-isms, surprisingly wise and ahead of her time.

You have to be a nifi (bride) before you can be a mommy.

Boys are silly, and they get even more silly as they get bigger.

Girls are fun. If you don’t know that, you must be silly.

Policemen are superheroes.

Monsters are bad. Stay away.

Hold your mommy’s hand in the street. You don’t want to be hit by a car.

Wear your seatbelt. If you don’t and you crash, you’re going to go to the hospital.

There’s a prince for every princess.

Drink lots of milk so you can grow.

Everything works with love, even if you’re far away.

Always water your flowers, because it’s nice to have something pretty to look at.

If you plant a seed, a flower will grow.

If you’re good, you’ll always have love in your heart.

This one will tug at your heart strings – and it’s perhaps the most sage of all.

The other day, Boo came to see me with her favorite Barbie.

This Barbie has flexible arms and legs (at the joints) and a few months ago, had lost part of one of the arms, from the elbow down.

This time, one of the legs from the knee down had snapped off.

She showed me and asked me to try to fix it for her.

I’ve tried to fix the arm before without success.

I hadn’t thought of any parallels or negative connotations when I responded to her.

I said, “Boo, perhaps it’s time to retire her. I can’t fix her.”

Boo said, “But Mommy, accidents happen, and just because she’s missing part of her arm and part of her leg, doesn’t mean I can’t love her and play with her anymore. She’s still my favorite and I’m keeping her. She’s still a lot of fun.”

Wow. I hadn’t thought of that.

A lesson for all of us.

She sure is wiser than her years.

When I was a kid (and it really wasn’t that long ago), things were different.

They were freer.

As in much more carefree.

We’d run around the neighborhood alone; we could stay out and play all day, as long as we went home when Mom called for us.

We walked to the store alone; we roamed around department stores alone, and met up Mom and Dad at the checkout aisle.

We know much of that has changed as the world has changed.

When I was little, my Thio (uncle) Panagos came from Greece and lived with us for several years before returning to the motherland.

One of our favorite things to do was get ice cream from the Ice Cream Man.

The familiar music would echo through the neighborhood, announcing his imminent arrival.

We’d yell, “Thie, pagoto!!!” (Uncle, ice cream!) and jump up and down with excitement.

He’d either hand us a dollar each or walk out to the curb with us to get some ice cream, a popsicle or push-up.

And we’d savor every minute of it.

It was something he enjoyed too, as he observed the great happiness this brought us.

Well, again, times are a-changing.

This fun summer pastime is also shot to you know where.

Recently, the girls and I met a friend and her daughter at a church festival.

There was the ice cream truck.

“The Ice Cream Man!” the girls yelled, with the same enthusiasm I had.

One asked for a Spider-man popsicle, which meant they all would have Spider-man popsicles.

I wasn’t thrilled with this prospect, since this is a super-sized world, even the popsicles have succumbed to that phenomenon.

Something else struck me, as they unwrapped the popsicles with great anticipation.

The colors were so incredibly vivid.

I knew it must be artificial colors and dyes.

I wasn’t thrilled, but thought, OK, just this once.

They melted faster than you can say, “how was that popsicle?”

And, they stained the girls’ hands.

Red streaks were set in their skin, wherever the popsicle had melted.

We washed and washed, but the dye remained for several days.

I immediately declared no more popsicles.

Well, this past weekend, we were at another festival, and there was the ice cream truck.

Ever-nostalgic, and always wanting the kids to experience all the simple joys, my husband, with all his good intentions, announced he’d get popsicles.

Of course I shot him that look.

You know the look I’m talking about. 😉

I reminded him that we don’t do popsicles anymore, and that we were going to buy forms to make our own.

Of course, once you make the announcement that you will give kids something they aren’t supposed to have, it’s difficult to retract your statement.

And surely, Daddy thought Mommy was overreacting again and not being fun.

Daddy took off on his errand, and returned with two jumbo-sized red, white and blue popsicles.

They looked like rocket ships, and nearly a foot long.

Well, the girls were out of their mind, and went to work on those popsicles with zeal.

Bebs vs. Popsicle

But seeing excitement and enjoyment in those few minutes wasn’t worth it.

Again, the frozen delights began to melt faster and faster. They didn’t even finish half of it.

It was melting faster than Frosty in the greenhouse.

Blue dye covered the girls.

All over their dresses.

Bebs' hand, 2 days later

I was not happy.

We wiped, wiped, wiped.

Nothing worked.

Finally, Daddy proclaimed we’d skip the ice cream truck from now on.

Another simple joy we have to ban.

This also prompted a new nickname for Bebs.

We began calling her “Lady Blue Hands.”

Seems like everything lately is enhanced by artificial colors and dyes.

An article called “Worst Foods of the Week,” illustrated that pretty much all the popsicles out there are loaded with these awful additives.

Even the ones that say “real fruit added” don’t have any nutrition to speak of.

Fla-Vor-Ice, one of my faves growing up, is just water, sugar and dyes.

The article suggests some better alternatives, the best being homemade popsicles.

Open Eye Health posted an article called “Dangers of Artificial Food Dyes.”

This one will really open your eyes.

It talks about how dyes are often added to make fruits that were picked before ripening, look fresher and more appetizing.

It cites an article from Natural News that states that these dyes are made from

Hold onto your hats…

PETROLEUM!

Yikes!

This piece also recommends making your own popsicles from your smoothies or even simply freezing a banana.

Then it ends with a “fun fact” that will make you shudder.

Food dye Red #4, also called carmine, is made from ground up insects – beetles.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!

Blogger Kelly the Kitchen Kop has written on this topic several times.

Here, she includes a link to an earlier post where she writes about the dangers of artificial colors and dyes and offers some healthy alternatives.

She also includes a link and excerpt from an LA Times article on the subject:

Almost every parent has a story about their kid bouncing off the walls after downing a package of jelly beans or eating a neon blue-frosted cupcake at school. Most blame the sugar.

But some new research suggests that the rainbow of artificial colors may have a bigger effect on children’s behavior. And in other parts of the world, some organizations are starting to take action on these ingredients.”

All of these pieces suggest that these are great reasons to spend the extra money and buy organic or locally grown produce.

A Webmd article cites research that draws a link between artificial colors and dyes and ADHD.

They are in many of the processed and packaged foods we eat.

I’m sure you’re thoroughly convinced now to skip the Ice Cream Man.

What do we do about these fun summery treats?

Do we just ban all the fun stuff?

Nope.

I guess I better get out the blender and make some smoothies to freeze into popsicles.

And search for some easy recipes for homemade ice cream.

I didn’t need to make more work for myself.

But at least I will have the peace of mind to know that when my kids are enjoying these sweet and fun treats, I know what’s in them.

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

Surely you’ve heard the term “potty mouth.”

Well, we aren’t talking about THAT kind of potty talk.

We’re being literal.

You know, as in bathroom, toilet, toity, WC.

We’ve started trying to potty train the Bebs.

True to form, Miss LeRoux isn’t always on the program.

For months she’s been alerting us when she needs to be changed, and when one is imminent.

She also camps out in the bathroom with anyone who is using it.

She’ll sit on the little stool and hang out.

Sometimes she’ll talk to you, or just peruse her reading material.

Funny how she’s already mastered that! HA!

Earlier this year, she was spending a lot of time with the three year-old down the block.

This little girl is potty trained.

Bebs came home one day and insisted that she wear panties, just like her friend.

So for the past 6 months, she’s been wearing a diaper AND panties.

I know, it sounds pretty funny.

So with all this, we figured, it’s time to give it the old college try.

We tried to get her to sit on the potty seat and she would freak out.

We tried bribing her with M&Ms, a sure-fire trick recommended by many moms.

Nope.

One day I just picked her up and put her on there.

Her scream quickly turned into a giggle as she felt like big man – er big girl – on campus.

Well, we never got any ACTION on the potty seat.

I was starting to wonder if this wasn’t the time.

Since then, she has decided that she prefers the potty chair instead of the potty seat.

Though just the thought of having to clean out the potty chair was making me squeamish, I figured if this would get her to go and she’d be more comfortable, we should go for it.

She began to spend a lot of time there, and moved the chair from room to room.

It was a game.

She’d sit there with her clothes on, and would have no part of removing them to actually TRY.

While playing outside one day, I removed her diaper and just put on the panties.

I thought well, if she could feel the awful feeling of being soiled, this might help.

Nope.

She was walking around with a full load and never took a break from playing.

Bebs was upset when I took her inside to clean her up.

“But Mom! I want to play!” she yelled.

We tried this again another time and she had no issue walking around with soaked clothes.

Back to the drawing board.

We started again with the M&Ms.

If she’d sit, she could have one M&M, 2 if she actually pee’d. If she pooped, she could have 3.

The thought of all those M&Ms excited her, but I don’t think she was quite on board yet.

She’d sit on the potty – chair and seat – but without success.

Was I just catching her at the wrong time?

One night, she totally surprised me.

Bebs announced that she wanted to take a shower.

This was a first. She’d been leery of the shower, even when her sister took one.

After the shower, I dried her up and began to put on the diaper.

“No!” She screeched.

“I’m going potty!”

She went directly to the potty chair, sat down and did her duty. 

“See Mommy? Wanna see my pee pees?” she uttered.

Sure enough, there it was!

Boo and I cheered, hugged her and made a huge deal out of it.

I don’t think there was ever so much fanfare for peeing.

After Bebs got dressed, our designated candy distributor Boo got two M&Ms, and proudly presented them to her little sister.

I told Boo we had to make a big deal and cheer and all that so she would keep using the potty.

Then it came.

“Mommy, do I get any M&Ms for being a good helper?”

Ahh, can’t put anything passed Boo.

“Yes.”

“M&Ms are the best thing ever!” announced Boo.

The next night, the same scenario repeated.

And the following night.

Three nights in a row!

Note, this was the only time of day she would use the potty, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

As soon as I mentioned it to the grandparents, the potty talk stopped.

That next night, Bebs took a shower, and then when she came out, she requested her diaper be put on.

“No pee pee,” was the answer.

There wasn’t going to be any discussion.

Miss LeReux proceeded to remove the potty chair from the scene.

I wasn’t sure where she took it.

“No potty! Quiet!”

She sure told me.

The night after, she took her shower and there was no potty to be found.

I asked and she replied, “shhhhh!”

Forgive me.

My little diva has spoken!

We didn’t stop the potty talk.

We offered M&Ms, but there was no interest.

We offered bubbles. Nope.

The little rascal chimed back one day.

“Lipstick!”

Yes, she has a thing with lipstick.

She was negotiating for a tube of lipstick.

She’s 2!

Sharp.

But Mommy doesn’t negotiate.

Certainly not on those terms.

Then the other night, she undressed herself (a new thing too!) and got in the shower.

I asked if she was going to pee when she was done.

She said yes.

She got in the shower and began to do her duty.

Well, at least it wasn’t the OTHER duty.

She showered, then proceeded directly to the potty chair.

Oh yes, we did recover the potty chair (it was behind the loveseat in my bedroom!) and put it back in the bathroom.

Success!

“See Mommy!” she called.

“Wanna see my pee pee?”

Sure enough.

“YAY! Two M&Ms for you,” I announced.

“I love M&Ms,” she said.

So we’re back on our nightly routine.

I ask her during the day if she needs to go potty and I always get the same answer.

“After my shower!”

Now I remember when Boo was potty training.

We made some progress here and there, but we weren’t 100% and we’d been at it for months.

Then one day it happened.

We found out the little girl down the street – 6 months YOUNGER – was fully potty trained.

All she needed to hear was that her friend wore only panties and went on the potty all the time, and that was it.

So.

Do we need a new trick with Bebs?

Is she just not ready for more?

Or do we plan for her to spend as much time as possible with the 3 year-old down the street?

All this talk about using the facilities.

I feel like a potty mouth!

I just keep reminding myself that the number of diapers in my future is indeed finite.

And that universe is getting smaller and smaller, each time she takes her nightly pee.

Viva la potty!


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