Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something


parenting humor

Do it Yourself

A few days ago, I read a really eye opening article.

A typical morning around here consists of about 23432897 million requests for something, from me, made by the twins. It doesn’t matter if daddy or grandma or freaking Santa Claus were around, it is me they are asking.

Mommy I need apple juice. Mommy I need yogurt. Mommy I need peanut butter. Mommy she took my toy. All before I’ve even managed to scoop the coffee out of the container and into the pot.

Bryan works way over the “full time” number of hours each week and has to add even more than that over the next three. Combine that with pending shoulder surgery that is going to leave him one handed for who knows how long (he can’t lift more than a cup of coffee with his right hand for 6 weeks, at least), and I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed.

So, this article.

It talked about this 4 year old who gets up each morning, brushes her teeth, gets herself dressed, makes her own waffle and eats while her mom gets ready for the day. The night before she helps pick out her outfit for the next day. The twins are almost four, so I think to myself this is perfect. It is time for more independence. I will simply require them to do more for themselves. I share this idea with Bryan, and come Sunday night, I am ready to tackle the week.

That is, until reality hit me.

Monday morning rolls around. No one helped pick out outfits the night before because we were all up late at my parents watching the Superbowl, so instead I figure I’ll have them help me pick out an outfit this morning. I have some extra time. No problem. Miles is easy. He wants a t-shirt and we fight a bit over shorts vs pants, but otherwise his outfit is complete in about 2 minutes. Next is Abby’s turn. My sweet Abby. She turns down every.single. shirt or dress suggestion I make. All of them. I literally go through every option in her closet. Finally a little frustrated, I tell her to choose her own. She says no, and sits on the floor. I pick out a dress myself, telling her if she won’t pick one I will, which results in a tantrum because she didn’t want that outfit either.

So this is going well.

Step two is teaching Miles how to make his own waffle. This actually goes ok, and Miles seems excited about the idea of doing this on his own. Except when it comes to spreading the peanut butter. Then he just simply “can’t do it”. I make him try anyway. Abby chooses yogurt and picks one from the shelf, and hands it to me to open, asking for a spoon. I tell her to get one herself. No, she tells me. *sigh*.


After breakfast, I try to catch them and encourage them to get dressed before they start playing, but no luck. I’m pretty sure I ask them to “please put your underwear and clothes on” a dozen times to deaf ears, each request slightly louder than the previous one. Finally I give up before I lose it, lay on the couch and scroll through Facebook for a few minutes, before I end up helping them get dressed. This lady with her independent 4 year old must be living in an alternate universe.*



*I will say that after a couple more days of attempts, each day is getting a little better, so it is a work in progress and I will take it. Abby even picked out her dress last night after rejecting only 10 or so other choices. #winning



Getting on Board

One of the things I looked forward to, when I was daydreaming thinking about the fun things I’d do with my future kids, was sit around the table as a family and play board games.

When the twins turned 3, I bought them the game Candy Land – hopeful but not expecting much. I’ve played the game more times than I can count at work, but always with a kid that was at least 4. When I pulled it out for the twins, they promptly started turning over ALL the cards and placed the pieces wherever the hell they wanted.

I put the game away for awhile, wondering who actually managed to successfully play it with a three year old, since its rated 3-6.

Unfortunately, so many of the cards got lost that I had to throw it away before I could even try again.

Today, I made a random run to Target, thinking maybe they’d be old enough. The twins have really been into “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story lately, so I picked up what is essentially the caterpillar version of Chutes and Ladders. In the car, I told the twins I had a present for them, which of course elicited some excitement. I pulled the game out and Miles asked to see it, prompting Abby to ask where “her game” is.

Yeah, I should have seen that one coming.

Abby is still throwing a fit when we get home and I open the box, while I correct Miles by saying it is for BOTH of them, not just him. Abby still doesn’t want to play.

I don’t want that ONE GAME!

But I set it up anyway, putting together the blue caterpillar for Miles and the yellow for myself, when Abby predictably walks over, sits at the table, and steals my caterpillar.

notice she has the yellow one

We each take a turn, both placing their caterpillar on the correctly colored space. What they won’t do, however is leave it there. Instead, they “walk around” the board. Then, once they figure out the food pieces flip over (it changes the slides), its all over and has turned into a play acting game involving feeding caterpillars fruit.

would you like an apple?

So no, even though the game is rated 3-6, we are NOT at the point where we want to play it as written, however they have spent the last hour pretending to be their various daycare teachers, lining up the kids at the fence and to go outside (FREEZE! LINE UP!), so it isn’t a total loss.

I guess family game night will have to wait šŸ™‚

Oblivious to the Obvious

I may be somewhat biased, but I feel like my kids are pretty smart. They have great pretend play skills, they’ve mostly mastered third person pronouns, they (mostly) use plurals and correct past tense. Most of the time their questions, albeit repetitive (mommy can I have milk? Mommy can I have milk?) make total sense.

At least until recently.

Most of the time I aim to fit my workout in between the time Bryan drops the kids off at daycare on the way to the high school and when I have to be at work. But sometimes they are at home with me, as was the case twice this week.

After a bit of encouragement, the two joined me on the third floor for my 5 mile tempo run. A tempo run (or what is supposed to be “comfortably uncomfortable”) is challenging enough in itself, so I was hoping they could entertain themselves with the IPAD for 40 minutes and leave me alone.

Right. Dream on.

After a blissfully uninterrupted half mile warm up, I cranked up the speed, and almost immediately noticed I had company. Miles walked up to the treadmill. He looked at it. He looked at me. He asked:

“Mommy, what are you doing?”

Uh….*pant pant*, I’m running *pant pant*. What does it look like I’m doing? *gasp gasp*

Satisfied, he walks away.

About 15 minutes later, and much more out of breath than before, Abby walks up to the treadmill.

“Mommy, what are you doing?”



Today I’m trying to squeeze 30 minutes on the bike trainer. The twins have seen me on this thing already at least 25 times. I get on the bike, I start pedaling, and low and behold Miles walks up and asks

“Mommy, what are you doing?”


But wait, it gets better.

Unfortunately, although the twins are daytime potty trained, Miles STILL refuses to poop in the toilet 98% of the time. Finally recently he’s started feeling motivated by prizes. Over Christmas Bryan bought some trucks on clearance and showed them to him, telling him he could have them once he pooped. He’s earned one so far. Trying to follow in Abby’s footsteps, Miles decides he’s going to try, but then decides he can’t. I tell him that if he does go, there is a truck upstairs with his name on it.

“There are no names on the truck, mommy”

Well buddy, you got me there.

Something Yucky This Way Comes

Dogs do gross things.

As it turns out, so do toddlers.

I fully expected to scold the dogs for doing disgusting things. In fact, just a few days ago when Miles had a random vomiting spell, Bryan told me that Chance ate all of it while the two of them showered (ew, EW EW). What I didn’t expect was that I’d be scolding the toddlers for similarly odd things (no toddler ate vomit, I assure you).

Comment with Ā your guesses, and I’ll post the answers in a later post. Some areĀ applicable to both.



1. ” _____, don’t lick the oven.”

2. “Bryan, ____ got into the dirty diapers again.”

3. “Um, thanks for the dead bug.”

4. “_____, don’t eat Sadness.”

5. Ā “Bryan, ______ peed on the floor again.”

6. “UGH _______, why did you eat that?”

7. Ā “EW! _______ GET OUT OF THE GARBAGE!”

8. “I’m pretty sure ____ gave me something that was out of ____’s mouth.”

9. “I really wish_____ would stop licking the floor”

10. “_____, that’s not food”


We Solemnly Swear We Are Up To No Good

There was a debate before the twins were even born about whether they would share a room or have separate rooms. Partly because I wasn’t ready to give up the spare bedroom and partly because I thought they’d enjoy being together, my vote was that they’d stay together. They have been together since conception, after all, why separate them when they are born?

My aunt and I, interestingly, were just recently having a conversation about how long they could feasibly share a room, and what the plan might be for it once they grow out of their toddler beds. A few nights ago, I shared this discussion with Bryan, saying that even if we did separate them, they’d likely keep each other awake trying to get to the others’ room anyway. I would rather they be together until they ask for their own space.

An hour or so later, around 9:30pm (yes, I go to bed early) I headed up to bed myself and noticed the light in their room was on. Great. I have not enjoyed the fact that they are now tall enough to reach light switches without the help of a step stool. I opened the door waiting for them to scurry like roaches, and instead found this:


I am asleep – do I look asleep?
I can only guess that this is some pathway to the light switch

Well, at least they are in it together.

A Walk With Toddlers

After breakfast, some playing, and maybe a movie (that they usually ignore half of) over the weekend, there typically comes a time when meltdowns start to happen and so its time to go outside. Miles likes to “go for a walk”.

Here is what a typical walk looks like:

Miles is excited and happily puts on his coat and shoes. Abby, who usually could care less, runs away. Once I ask Bryan to watch her so I can take Miles, she decides she wants to go, but as I’m putting on her coat, she plops onto the floor, exclaiming “no walk!”

So, I pull out the little stroller and strap her in. We make it down the driveway and one house down, where Abby then declares she wants out.


“I push!”

We, by some freak of nature, make it half way around the block when Miles, who has walking happily 10 seconds ago, decides he’s done.


I convince Abby to turn around and by that time, Miles forgets what he was protesting and joins us. He runs towards me saying “hold hand mommy!” Just as my heart is about to melt a little, I stick my finger out for him to hold and he says “no!” Abby stops to look at some acorns.


Then, he asks to cross the street, and I know what this means. Our walk has turned into a trek to grandmas. “Go to Gee-ma’s, mommy”.

Abby, who has been pushing the stroller still, begins to get frustrated the more it gets stuck, but when I try to help her, I am met with this:


Or a scream. Then suddenly I have the stroller:


That is until Miles wants it. Abby, who didn’t give two shits when I was pushing it, is suddenly chasing him screaming “mine!”


Finally, we make it to grandmas, where we fight over who gets to go inside first.


In the end, we covered 3 tenths of a mile in about 20 minutes.

Who wants to join us next time?

Toddler Cat

So, I’m really more a dog person, but recently I’ve decided that toddlers are a lot like cats.

  • They only cuddle when they want to
  • They hiss at you when you try to touch them or something of theirs and they don’t want you to
  • They are moody
  • They don’t like to wear socks
  • They look at the food you put in front of them as if it was worse than death

But mostly:

Pee Potty Lollipop

Before the twins were born, I SWORE I would not be someone who waits until their kids are three to potty train. I didn’t want to deal with diapers longer than necessary, and dang it my kids were going to be SMART and train EARLY.

Today, they are 5 months away from turning 3 and, you guessed it, not trained. Miles has had a couple successes, and both will “try”, but largely the sh*t still hits the pull up.

Sadly though, the reason why they aren’t trained isn’t because they aren’t SMART and couldn’t train EARLY. Both get the concept.

Mom is lazy.

I am lazy.

I like waking up in the morning without having to rush someone to the toilet.

I like taking them for walks without worrying about when the last potty break was, or having to figure out how I’m going to run BOTH of them home when we get a block away and someone declares he has to pee.

I like taking them in the car for the same reason.

I like being able to let them play in chick fil a without having to drag both toddlers, one peeing, one screaming, because I simply can’t leave one in the play area alone while I take the other to pee.

Still, this has to happen sometime, right? We did kinda try this attempt once a couple months back, and then once last weekend. What we learned was that Abby is a stealth pee-er, and while Miles doesn’t appreciate peeing on himself, it isn’t enough to motivate him to stop.

Tonight, Miles declares he has to pee potty. Hooray! I think. So we will pull out his potty and he declares:

“Pee potty, lollapop” (lollipop)

Because in the past, I’ve given them one for just sitting on it, and now he thinks all he has to do is sit on it and he gets one.

“Pee potty lollapop, mommy”

“Sorry buddy” I say, “but if you want a lollipop, you actually have to pee IN the potty.”

He is silent

“Peeeee potttttyy lolllllapoooooop”


“Is there pee in the potty? You can have a lollipop if you pee IN the potty.”

He is starting to lose it now.



There was no pee potty. There was no lollipop. My kid went to bed unhappy, and we have reachedĀ failed attempt number 2387293649827643.

Hand me a pull up.

The Dammit Diamond

I’ve been saying that I’m impressed with the twins vocabulary. There are days (like today when Miles correctly labeled an octagon) that they identify and label things I had no idea they knew. 

I, too, have a decent vocabulary. Anyone who knows me,though, knows it isn’t always clean. 

Monday morning we are driving to daycare. I make a right turn, accelerate and then hear Miles say:


Ugh. This one, unlike the time I swear he uttered the f-word when he accidentally turned the TV off, was completely out of context. Great, so not only is my toddler swearing, he’s doing it for no apparent reason. I ignore it hoping it’s a fluke.  Soon though: 


Yup. Mom of the year right here in the front seat. My award is rescinded for all time. I’m just about (silently) curse myself for not watching my more colorful language more closely when Abby says: 



Dammit. Diamond! They are talking about the road work sign! He is saying diamond! 

Phew. Mom of the year lives to see another day. 

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