Archive for May 2010

Tips for Spoiling the Child

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Probably there are a lot of ways you can successfully end up with a spoiled child but, dear friends, I can only share how we have done it.

An example of what works for us follows.

Today Ellie had some allowance burning a hole in her little pink wallet. Burning! We had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe near fisherman's wharf with Grandma Diana, her friend Dave, Billy, Bill and my cousin Lori to celebrate my upcoming significant birthday and Ellie was dying to buy a pair of crocs in the gift shop for $17. "Nope," I told her, "save your money for Disneyland."

So then she found a t-shirt for $5, and I acted like a broken record.

How about a lollipop for $1? No.

She then did the thing wherein she stomps, and huffs, and says, "this is the WORST day ever...blah, blah, blah." And she won't talk to anyone and she stands off by herself and is pretty much a sulky stinker. Yuck.

Later today, when she was at Target with Marc, he let her buy a ceramic piggy bank because getting the other parent to let her do what she knows she isn't supposed to is her super power. If you want to develop your child's inner sneak I highly recommend this type of positive reinforcement.

But wait! Marc and I aren't the only ones involved in her spoiling.

As she was carrying her new bank into the house, Ellie dropped it on the front porch and it splintered into many pink plaid pieces. I was in the house, and Ellie came running to me looking for consolation and, perhaps, a refund. But at this moment I was firm. "Bad things happen to good people," I told her. I thought she might learn some lesson about consequences, or maybe not sneaking because of cosmic retribution, or something but it was not to be.

Apparently her three big sibs saw the debacle and immediately demanded that Marc right this gross injustice and buy her a new piggy bank. And Marc said, "no way," 'cause we're all about saving the monies for vacation right now.

So meanwhile Ellie is sprawled on my bed carrying on about how awful Target is and they "shouldn't make toys for children that aren't plastic because they should know that little children are going to drop them and it is not fair," when who should come to her rescue but the three big sibs. Yes, they pooled their resources and all three of them decided to buy her a new pink piggy bank and Maddie even said she would go to Target right then to get it.

So see? This level of spoiling is not entirely the work of her parents. It takes a village.

p.s. Thanks for the birthday lunch everyone!

A Bunch of Stuff

Monday, May 10, 2010

So far the TV experiment has resulted mainly in Marc and I watching a lot of TV on my laptop and Ellie watching Ella Enchanted maybe twenty times out on the biggie TV. Obviously it was not a perfect plan; some tweaking is in order. But we are saving $50+ dollars a's good.

Yesterday I made Peking chicken for dinner and took it to my parent's house. I am still happy about how good the chicken turned out. The trick, according to my recipe, was to plunge each piece of chicken into a pot of boiling water for one minute to "render the fat" (whatever that means). For some reason that has been on my mind all day today. I think it's because I've been trying to loose weight and so the phrase "render the fat" is kind of fascinating to me. The result was that the skin was extra brown and crispy, just like in a restaurant.

I also went to the Asian market and got moo-shu wrappers and hoisan sauce.

Tomorrow Riley gets his summer hair cut. I love the way he smells when he gets back from the groomer. Like lavender. I love it so much that I will likely spend the better part of the afternoon with him on the couch. That sounds creepy. This is one of the weird things about blogging--when I write something like that and it's true, but sounds extra strange, I don't know if I should delete it or leave it in the interest of transparency? Because my life is SO important.

When the girls got home from school today Katie came running upstairs to tell me I had to come catch the "huge" lizard in their bathroom. I went to grab a Tupperware container and she was like "No! You need a bigger tupper!" It made me nervous but I just acted like it was fine and went downstairs. Sometimes if I act like something doesn't bother me then it actually won't. I got over killing spiders that way.

So the lizard was hiding under a toilet paper wrapper on the floor. I actually got it scooped in the container on the first try, but Maddie and Katie screamed so loudly when I lifted it up that I dropped the whole thing and it scuttled behind the sink. It wasn't too big, but it was bigger than most of the little lizards we see outside.

Of course Jonathan, the only one in our house who might actually like to catch a lizard, was out riding his bike.

So I completely lost my cool and screamed too, plus I screamed at the girls not to scream because they were making me screamy. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Like that. Then I caught it a second time and let it go outside. It was extra long and slithered back and forth like a snake when it ran.

And that's my day.

Mother's Day

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I love any day, really, that involves giving me presents. For the record, today was quite fine. Jonathan gave me a bouquet of roses from our yard. Katie painted a picture of a giant sunflower for me, Ellie made me a beautiful picture at school and Maddie and Katie gave me the newest Nancy Drew game (don't judge! Nancy is super cool...I have learned many useful sleuthing skills from Nancy).

I wanted to make dinner for my mom but we had to take it to her house because Lani, my sister, doesn't travel. In the car on the way there we had a family meeting to go over what it means when I say "Grammy will not be cooking or cleaning tonight." My kids can be a little fuzzy on those kinds of things.

Speaking of which, thank you Marc for making sure that went according to plan. Eventually I sneaked back to my sisters room to snuggle her to sleep (heaven) and when I came out-viola! The kitchen was clean. There is hardly anything on earth I love more than clean things that I didn't clean.

Happy Mother's Day, then, to all the women who have mothered me. May all your clean dreams come true.

Party On

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Marc and Ellie went to the Butterfly dance at Ellie's school last Friday. If you didn't know, at our school "butterfly" is code for "daddy-daughter." So moms, they're not allowed in,darn it. But Marc took this fabulous video of our budding Martha Graham. Enjoy.


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