How to make kid’s odd behavior work for you

My girls are strange.  I am going to make it work for me…

1) Scared

“The kids are going to love these,” I thought to myself as I picked up a bag of smiley fries.  I am always looking for creative ways to present food and this was a no brainer.  I couldn’t wait to serve them up.

“We’re gonna get you!

“AHHHHH,” Ari screamed when she peeked through the glass oven door. Her eyes wide and rimmed with tears, she clung on to me with dear life. “Scared,” she whimpered…

I couldn’t help but laugh and then I realized I could seriously use this to my advantage.  I took a picture of the scary smiley’s, got it developed, and blew it into a life size poster.  Next time I need some privacy, I will simply tape up the smileys and go into my room of choice. Voila – nobody’s gonna get me in here…


Always comes in handy to sleep with tools

2) Love of tools

Perhaps we went to Home Depot a few too many times but Arianna is simply obsessed    with tools.  Everywhere I go, there are  screwdrivers, nuts and bolts, hex wrenches, and  nails…teddybear who?  She has even been sleeping with these comforting metal friends.

Strangest thing, right? The more I thought about this, I realized that this was quite a  money saving situation.  “Hey kids, want to get a treat!” We’re going to the hardware  store! Never mind toys, nails and washers are like 25 cents a piece.


Ever watch one of those cop shows or movie thrillers where one of the characters is a major psychopath.  His hideout has a wall completely filled with people’s eyes or something like that.



Imagine my horror when I picked up my cell phone, went to look for a picture, and ahh- hundreds of pictures of Ruby!


And, as if that wasn’t enough, hundreds more of this magnetic doll. My goodness, obsessive child I have!


Ok, let’s make this work for me, I thought to myself…clearly, the girls love taking pictures so next time we’re bored, we’ll take pictures of anything, our stuffed animals, other people’s mailboxes, odd holiday decor on neighboring houses…we can develop them and create photo albums.  You can find cheapy albums at the dollar store.  They can have their own collection of 100 pictures of “Mr. Bear, Stephanie, the unicorn, and whoever else.” Leave it off my phone!

4) The banana situation

For the past two weeks, Arianna has been asking for a banana- Gia eats one as often         as she can – she is part monkey, I swear, always climbing on the counters and eating         them.  I figured little sis was just following in her footsteps but it turns out, she just               enjoys peeling them and throwing the peel and the banana in the garbage!  I               thought it was just a one time thing until I noticed she was doing it every day.

photo 3

“Ari, why are you asking for bananas when you don’t like them?” I asked.

“I like phone,” she says…

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Ok – so the girl has a thing for peeling bananas, she just likes to peel…this is really going to come in handy for me- I see a future full of silver surprises –  “Come on Ari, put the toy doll down,” I have a treat for you.  Flash her an aluminum wrapped anything. I’ll just regift from my own house!

So happy to get this present.

“Oh, Mommy, present, present, for me?”


And the amazing present…



“Wow, this is awesome, a new ball,” she said excitedly…I literally just picked this up from the basket of toys in our family room.

Anyone else have any kid’s odd behavior to share?

Future simple mom

I was thinking long and hard about this snacking dilemma…from yesterday’s post

less snacks (I know what your thinking- Jill, just shut up about this already) and I know what my Mom is thinking (ok Jill, give them less treats and give us all a break and don’t talk about it anymore!) Hell, even I’m thinking it but I have to write this post.

I remember this story about a boy caught with cigarettes.  His dad wanted to teach him a lesson so he made him smoke like five packs or something crazy like that.  Wheels rolling…

“Come here Gia…you have a lot of sugar to eat…”



I couldn’t really do that! Solution #2

We’ll analyze Arianna and see what happens to her (kind of like a this is your brain on crack scare tactic, remember those commercials?)

Let’s see what happens…

You should have seen the little one after 100 lollypops, she was like a pinball on fire.  She ran around the house for two hours straight…in fact, she’s still running…

Again, KIDDING- Don’t call child services on me…yet.

What I did come up with was all of these reward plans, one where I had ten paper pieces of a donut and I was going to staple together every time Gia ate a meal. Then I had this jar, where I would put in a gem in when she followed directions. I also had one for brushing teeth…I am feeling stressed just writing this, in fact, today, I completely forgot which jar was for what and what the plan was..

Aghhh!!! I am such a try everything mess.  It took me so long to pack for today’s outing, with these jars and staplers, and I ended up forgetting what everything meant!

Later in the day, Gia was like, “Now where does this go,” about something that she did right.  I looked at her, bewildered…no idea.

Something just hit me then and I started laughing…this is ridiculous. The hoops sometimes we jump through for basic life stuff. We’re not talking about getting kids into Harvard here, just eat a sandwich and not get a donut every time we’re out!


There has to be a better way!

Remember back in the day when NO was enough!

Remember when kids ate three meals a day, a snack or two, and getting an ice-cream cone on a hot day was just a simple pleasure of life.

Remember when a kid just brushed teeth with a no frills brush.  Now they light up, buzz, are personalized, have stickers to decorate, and even talk to you.  So do some potty’s by the way, just went on a potty run and am amazed at these flushing, talking potties…” “Hurray, you went potty.”

Hurray!!! I quit.

Why am I and millions of other Moms making parenting a project?

I have this image in my head of me standing on a long line of weary moms, waiting to hand in a thick portfolio to the boss (a mix of an imaginary Mother Theresa and Martha Stewart ). This boss person looks through the arts and crafts scrapbook of wonder, the eating section(organic, made from scratch, well thought out meals, creative and cute), stimulating activities, the organized day, the spotless house, the proper discipline, the “right” activities, Mom’s knowledge of the latest brain building exercise, etc).

Mom waits with bated breath, Do I pass? Do I win? Do I move on to the next level?

SHE DOES- she wins! She gets a trophy, she looks around to show her kids- they are gone.

They ran off.  They’re playing at the neighbor’s house.

They are laughing, smiling, and playing with some kids and their relaxed, just happy to be a mom, getting on the floor and being silly, no frills mom.

Snack less

Gather the horses, sharpen the swords, get all your man power together to guard the castle door.  Hold it strong and steady— I am starting to wage a war against the SUGAR MONSTERS and other offenders like the SALT SNATCHERS.

I am a chocolate donut monster!

This mom is sugared out, chocolate out, and frosted out…the circuits in her brain are firing as fast as firecrackers… “marshmallows, oreos, sprinkles, cookies, treats…”

Its been bad, Ari has been talking in her sleep saying “I want chocolate,” and waking up saying M&M’s.  Gia wants a donut practically every time we leave the house, my closet is jam packed with junk, and my car is so crunchy with crackers, the bugs have been salivating at the idea of getting in!

Ok, that was gross. But seriously, I don’t know how it’s gotten to this.  I used to be the healthiest person.  I was a Health Science major in college, I taught spinning classes, and I used to annoy the hell out of friends and family by talking about food and nutrition.

Sweets, sweets, sweets!

I think it started when I began going to play dates and I saw all of this junk food in people’s houses.  I remember this one mom who fed her daughter a chocolate frosted donut for breakfast.  Other moms had closets full of cookies and sugar cereals…their kids seemed fine, and I slowly slipped away from my strict dietary rules (I just had one child at the time as well). Month by month, I slacked more and more and found it easier to just say “yes” rather than deal with the howling.

Get out the violins…oh sorry story, poor Jill, swept under the sea of sugar and never battled the waves of whipped cream! So here we are, my kids are 4 and 2 and I need to fix this.  Snacky nanny 911 to the rescue!

One other embarrassing secret I need to admit.  I am struggling with the snacks as well…oh wait, that’s no secret! I write about this all of the time…I think I have eaten the past…um, really embarrassed about this, like twenty…thousand bags of goldfish and of course Cheez its.  I always buy them for the kids and end up on the couch with my wine, munching away!  I am such a cliché! Doesn’t every health and fitness magazine say, don’t eat on the couch, in the dark, mindlessly watching TV or when you’re tired and stressed.

Ok, so it’s me and the girls starting fresh, and trying to get better at eating better, like less snacks, more meals…I will be brainstorming ideas to get us on the path less traveled by Mr. Goldfish, Mrs. Donut, and Ms. Cookie. Stay tuned for my weekly report of snack less, smile more…and please no judgment people, I am a work in progress. Not striving for perfection here, like last week when I endured the MOST HELLISH trip to the pediatrician’s office with my little one who screamed and thrashed like a scene from my bloody Valentine…we got a donut after and I had a BIG GLASS(s) of wine.

Sprinkles, sprinkles, sprinkles!