[Alternate Title: You should read this post because I'm going to tell you how to enter to win one of three iPhones at the bottom. Not that you need one, or anything]
Back a few months during my last wax visit (no, not that one), I got into a conversation with my aesthetician about our preschoolers and responsibilities. She asked me if I made Quinlan do things around the house, other than make gigantic messes.
I told her that Quinlan does various chores around the house, which she started fairly early on her in career as a kid.
I readied myself for the gasps or backlash, that I'm still surprised tends to come my way when I explain that if she's big enough to make messes, draw intricate mermaids, and build junk castles, she's definitely capable of cleaning, emptying the dishwasher tray, and making her bed.
But to my surprise, she totally agreed with me.
If my parents did anything right, they instilled in me the value of money. We were fortunate to have more than enough, but I definitely had to save my own money to buy extras, and later on gas, car insurance, and then college.
And while they were at the extreme end of things, I do appreciate that they instilled within me the value of the dollar.
Of course, they could have worked a bit harder on the whole credit card thing (helloooo) but overall, I knew that if I wanted something, aside from special occasions, I would need to earn them. And that goes for kids as little as three and four.
I've been toying around with exactly how to get her started on an official chore/allowance system, because on one hand, I want for her to earn money, but on the other, I do not like the minutiae of some of the chore charts out there that keep track of every speck of dust your kid cleans up.
Just give me something quick and easy that outlines the simple responsibilities a preschooler needs and doesn't create some type of organizational headache for me, and I'm sold.
So I purchased this savings bank, mainly because it separates the money out into "Spend, Save, Give" instead of lumping everything together into one gigantic pig belly.
And I also found this chore chart, which I've seen in person, and happens to be the low maintenance mom's chore chart. Basically, if they do it, they turn the knob and it says stuff like "Good Job!" or "You Rock." Then you can count the number of turned knobs at the end of the day and reward them.
I haven't officially started yet, but I've got everything almost set to begin. I figure there's nothing like being at Target with a whiny preschooler and being able to say "Buy it yourself, kid."
You've got to start somewhere, right?
*You do have to have a blog to enter -- comments here don't count for the iPhone Blog Blast, but are completely welcome and enjoyed!*
So, give your helpful hints about how you teach your kids about money (on your own blog -- but feel free to leave comments to) and you will be entered to win one of three iPhones courtesy of Capital One's new Moneywi$e E-learning Tool (it helps you prepare for your kid's financial future -- not a bad idea, really). So don't mess around - go post! You've got through Sunday Midnight PST.
Aside from housing a baby, I've learned over my last three pregnancies that the large protruding belly does quite well in blocking out what you probably don't want to see, for fear of sending you into premature labor. That would include the large swollen feet, ashy dry knees, and the gigantic vagina.
So long little pink petunia. Hello pacific palm.
Since enduring my last brazilian wax all in the name of research that is, I've resorted to shaving - mostly for convenience, not necessarily because it hurt like a motherfucker. I tend to think the upper lip and eyebrows are more uncomfortable, except when you're exactly 36.2 weeks pregnant and you've got a baby resting on your pelvis and all your blood centered mostly around your pubis.
But truthfully, the jungle was scarily overgrown, and while I can't necessarily see it, it had become quite clear that it was there.
So against my own personal recommendation, I decided to get an extra thin bikini wax, performed by my lovely neighbor who does such things and other less painful spa treatments in the comfort of her basement. It's waaaaaaay less trashy than it sounds; in fact, she has an inflatable jumpy castle so you can basically bring your kids, get your hair ripped out, and then go on your merry way.
Now, since I hadn't endured the way in a long time, I didn't have the proper preparations in order, like the no bump lotion, alcohol, and living will, but I figured, it couldn't be that bad. Orgasmic bikini waxes, anyone? Maybe there's hope.
And really, it wasn't terrible, regardless of the whole strip vs. hot wax debate. In fact, aside from a few ass jumps off the table (which is pretty damn good considering I can barely lift my ass off the table voluntarily), I was perfectly fine until I actually agreed to look in the mirror.
Let's just say that a blind pilot could land on this strip.
But when it comes to the safety of other kids, I'm all for overstepping my boundaries, regardless of whether the parents want me to or not. Mainly because if my kid was in danger or what they perceived as danger, I'd want them to do the same thing.
It still seems, however, that many parents are often offended when another well-meaning parent steps in and attempts to help their child, because for some reason, the need for help is interpreted as "you're not doing your job very well."
However, I haven't exactly come up with a job that we are asked to do on a daily basis that isn't made somewhat better (however you interpret that word) by the assistance of another person.
That's not to say I need or want someone to come in and do my job for me, but when it comes to parenting in public, an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands can certainly come in handy.
A few weeks ago, The Joys and my family were at a local Bluegrass Festival and while Quinlan and I were off getting a snack, we turned around to find an extremely distraught preschooler screaming for her father, apparently lost and unable to locate him. I took her into my grasp, scanning the massive crowd and asking if anyone knew who her parents were while people just sort of oddly stared like one or both of us was crazy.
After a minute or two, her mother rushed over to her, grabbed her tightly, and thanked me profusely, both of us tearing up. Both of us knowing that feeling of fear.
Conversely, at the Decatur Book Festival last weekend I was headed back to grab my stroller and I saw a wobbly toddler about Drew's age walk right off the top of about 10 concrete steps, without any sign of an adult nearby. I rushed over to her looking for her parents; they were about five feet away and gave me a weird look like I was some sort of paranoid freak, told me she was fine, and went back to their business. Apparently their daughter is a stair stepping champion or has a really hard head.
In both cases, I held no judgment towards the parents. We've all gotten engrossed in conversations, we've all turned our backs for "just one second," and we've all had moments when we might feel like the worst parents in the world.
But there seems to be this stigma that we can only accept help if we ask for it. And if we don't watch our kids all the time and someone reaches out to help us, that means we're incompetent.
I've struggled with allowing others to be a "citizen's parent" to my children. It's certainly not something that I rely on, but instead of being offended, I try to let it remind me that I'm human. That I can't do it all. And that I might need to tighten up my "game" a little bit.
As I was rushing into Target the other day, a woman saw me struggling and asked if I needed a "buggy" (Southern for cart). I asked her "God, I look that desperate, huh?" sort of joking. Sort of not. Clearly I would have made it to the door without her help, but it would most certainly not have been pretty. But she responded "Nope, you just look really hot and really pregnant" (both really true) and without even asking, she grabbed a cart, and stuck Quinlan in for me while I secured Drew.
And for the first time ever, I just smiled right back at her and said "You know what? You're absolutely right. Thank you."
Not to downplay the gravity of my post about pre-marital sex, but I am verrrrrrrrrrry pregnant (like under four weeks to go here people) and the only thing that's distracting me from the ligament pains that make me feel like the baby is just about to drop right out, is food.
My latest obsession - Fig Newmans - not to be confused with their skinny ass, tasteless counterparts - Fig Newtons.
Not only are the Fig Newmans low fat and packaged with a picture of Paul Newman (hi, hotness even though he's 400 years old and in overalls), but they actually taste like a cookie.
Or a fruit cake.
And that is why what you see is what remains from the bag I bought.
Okay, so confess what snacks are in your pantry via the Parent Bloggers Network blog blast* and you'll be entered to win one of two $250 grocery gift cards from Brothers All Natural. If you're not on our mailing list to get notifications of the blog blasts, you should sign up. We've got one slated for every weekend through the end of the November and the prizes are outrageous.
*If you have no idea what a blog blast is, then it's simple. You write a post on the topic that we've got every week, link up a couple of places, and then email your post to parentbloggers[at]gmail.com. It's a great way to drive traffic to your site as well as incoming links, and it's a great way to meet other bloggers and win prizes.
And if you're not familiar with PBN, come visit us and consider "applying" for "membership." We work to connect bloggers with companies who are interested in have them check out products and services.