Ten Things I Really Said — Toddler Edition

I realize that November is the month of gratitude (and mustaches) and really, two of the things I’m most grateful for are my demon offsprings sweet children. They are the lights of my life and I can’t imagine NOT having them.

However, prior to having children I would never have imagined the things that I say on a daily basis. This morning Little Missy took things to a whole new level. So as a mini-Unqualified Opinion gratitude gift, I present “Ten Things I Really Said Within a 20 Minute Period — Toddler Edition”

I’m sure there are more editions to come . . . Things I really said.

Do I Need to Shower Today?

Before I became a mother, I showered every day. I didn’t wash my hair every day – still don’t – but I managed to make it into the bath or shower at least once a day. Then I had my son. Suddenly, showering was no longer a foregone conclusion. Now, five years later, I ask myself, “Do I need to shower today?” far more than I would like to admit. Add another child to the equation and take away a job in the outside world and I find myself asking this question nearly daily.

Don’t get me wrong, I usually shower. Especially if I have run that day. Do I put off the shower if I know that I will be sweating in the Texas sun again before bedtime? You better believe it. Texas is in the middle of a drought. Really, I’m just doing my part.

I’ve done research. It turns out that I am not the only mom who asks themselves this question regularly. I know that a lot of my friends (especially my friends with kids) don’t shower every day either. Earlier this week, I was discussing this topic with one of my friends. She told me that she would be putting the clothes from her morning workout back on to go walk her kids home from school. Of course she was! Why would you put on clean clothes just to go out into the steamy heat? You are just creating more laundry.

Then there is the kid factor. Do you know what happens every time I start the shower in my house? At least one little person, usually my daughter, comes running into the bathroom tearing off her clothing. She will attempt to climb over the edge of the tub until I relent and let her in. If I don’t have the energy to shower every day, I certainly don’t have the energy to take an 18 month old in for stitches that could have easily been prevented. Thanks to my kids, I shower with foam numbers and sea animals. Apparently, my daughter’s answer to “Do I need to shower today?” is a resounding yes. For me, the highlight of my week is Sunday morning when I get to shower by myself.

Some of you are probably feeling a little grossed out right now. That’s alright. I get it. You will probably look at me a little funny the next time you see me out in public. Not every one shares my dilemma. My own father showers at least twice a day. Maybe you are a classy business woman who has to be presentable every day. Maybe, you too, are a stay at home mom but have personal hygiene far superior to my own. Never once have you thought, “Do I need to shower today?” Bravo ladies! I’m sure your husbands appreciate your dedication to keeping it together. My husband is pleasantly surprised when my leg brushes his without stabbing him. I’m telling you, it is a glamorous life I lead.

But for you fellow hygienically conflicted parents, I present the shower flowchart. The next time you find yourself asking, “Do I need to shower today?” just pull out this handy guide and we will try to help you make your decision.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in the above post are purely Tracey’s opinion. I will not pretend to speak for Sarah and Erika. Even if I suspect that both them frequently ask themselves, “Do I need to shower today?” They are free from any blame that might come from the use of this flowchart. For that matter, I am also free from any blame. You are an adult. Make your own hygiene decisions.

The Time I Banned Electronics. A Screen-Free Week

Screen FreeLet’s talk about an unhealthy addiction in my home. I’m not talking about the insane quantities of Pirate Booty, apple juice or diet soda consumed on a daily basis. Those addictions are going to take some professional help. I’m talking about electronics.

Here’s the skinny. Lots of devices/gaming systems/phones. Two adults. Two kids. Eight eyes glued to a screen. One little boy who gets really, uh, intense after too much screen time.

It all came to a head Saturday. My sweet aunt and grandmother watched my kids while Ben and I attended the temple for our church. When we returned, my 6-year old cousin informed me that my son “broke the iPad”.  Sure enough, in a fit of electronics-induced rage, he chucked the iPad (theirs, not ours) and chipped a corner. Mortified people. Mortified.

The ride from San Antonio to Austin was not pleasant for my little guy. By the time we reached our house he had managed to lose all electronics (besides TV) until Wednesday.

Then in a moment of inner reflection, meaning Ben wasn’t home to stop my crazy plan, I decided we are imposing a modified, screen-free week.

Here’s the plan:

  1. No handheld electronics for all inmates residents under the age of 30. This includes iPads, tablets, e-readers, smart phones and gaming systems.
  2. Drastically reduced phone and internet surfing time for mom. I have photo shoots to process and a blog to contribute to so I can’t go cold turkey. I will try to limit this to child-sleeping hours as much as possible. Check out me justifying my addiction.
  3. Limited TV time. I’m thinking two hours a day. Still need to discuss this with Ben.
  4. One “summer fun” activity each day. Something physical.
  5. One engaged family activity each night. Everyone has to be able to see each other and converse. Dinner doesn’t count.

Has any one else unplugged their families?  Any thoughts? Ideas? Sanity savers? Please share. I’ll let you know next week how it all shakes out. This might be one long week.