Skip to main content


Mallory has been exceptionally sweet to her sister lately. Last night, for example, Phoebe was playing with Play-Doh while I made dinner. Mallory came over, saw that Phoebe had smushed three different colors all together in one big ball, and said, "Phoebe, that's great! You made a rainbow!"

A few days ago, we were getting dressed to go somewhere and Phoebe asked to wear a princess costume. I said no, but that she could wear her denim Elmo jumper instead. I put it on and she collapsed into sobs. "I not pretty now!" she wept. Mallory ran over and hugged her and said, "You are pretty, Phoebe! I always wanted a pretty little doll to play with and instead I got you and you're such a pretty real baby!" Which cheered Phoebe right up and made me cry.

I've read that parents of my generation are creating a bunch of "praise junkies" because we tend to say "Good job!" to our children too often. This makes kids expect to be praised for every little thing and keeps them from feeling intrinsic satisfaction in their accomplishments. I don't know whether I believe that or not, but I feel a bit of knee-jerk guilt every time I let a "good job!" slip out. But what else, I ask you, can you say to a 2-year-old learning to use the potty? "Nice pee, Phoebe! Excellent bladder control, young lady!" Phoebe herself examined her potty chair after one successful foray and commented, "Wow! I peed really very high!"

And here's the age-old dilemma. What do you do with the above-mentioned potty-learning 2-year-old when they ask to go potty when they're supposed to be going to sleep? It's the perfect excuse to get out of bed and she knows it. I hate to say no (because usually she really does pee) but I also want her to stay in bed. Sigh. Parenting, it's all so hard.


aimee said…
Make them go to the potty before they go to bed. I mean right before. Then no more drinks.

Then say Good job! Hee hee!
J&H Noble said…
How precious! I love it when our nephews hug each other and are affectionate.
A particular touching conversation overheard:
Jared- "I love you, Tire."
Tyler- "Lub too, Jed."

Breaks my heart!!

Popular posts from this blog

New Math

This word problem was on Mallory's math homework last week:

Lesia has 32 stickers. Diana has a few stickers. Lesia adds their stickers. She has to regroup when she adds. How many stickers does Lesia have? Circle the number.

We puzzled til our puzzlers were sore, but we still couldn't figure out the answer. I wrote a note beside the problem: "Mrs. G., this problem didn't make sense to either Mallory or her parents."

The next day the paper came back with a note from Mrs. G. She circled the last line of the problem and wrote:

"Misprint! This should have said Diana."

Okay! Whew! I was relieved to know that I wasn't, in fact, dumber than a second grader.

Except then I realized that I still didn't understand how the answer could be 3, 5, 6, or 8.*

I can't wait til she gets to algebra.

*Unless what they're calling "regrouping" is what we used to call "carrying the ones." In which case the answer would be 8. I think. Maybe.

Yard Sale. YARD SALE!

Anyone who doesn’t hear Tom-Hanks-as-Woody-the-Cowboy screaming that line…hasn’t spent much time around small children. Or at least around small children who like to watch Disney movies.

We had a yard sale this weekend – we being me, Chris, his sister Amy, and his mom. Yikes, it was exhausting. There was much hauling of boxes and furniture and standing around and chasing Mallory and Phoebe about the driveway all Saturday long. I made a hundred bucks – not too shabby, I guess. Chris made about $75 selling the “dregs” of his toy collection. The main point, however, was to sell our old living room furniture because we’re getting a new sofa and chair today (it’s being delivered as we speak!). We did sell our beat-up love seat for $25, but there were no takers for the beat-up sofa sleeper or the recliner. Alas, but that’s the way it goes.

Most of what I sold was baby stuff – clothes, bouncy seats, playmats, and so forth. It was a relief to see it go. Right after Phoebe was born I had the urg…

Confederation, confederation, confederation

Mallory has a big Social Studies test today. She’s not doing well in Social Studies, this year. When I asked her why her grades were so low, she said, “I don’t like Social Studies. Besides, no one can be good at everything.” I thought this was a fair point, but let her know that it was not acceptable for her to do quite so poorly, whether she liked it or not.

We studied for hours for this test. We read the chapter twice, summarized main points, went over vocabulary words, filled in blanks and did true/false quizzes. There were moments when I despaired – as when I asked, “The villages of the Cherokee people came together to form a...” and she said, “Um...bison?” But I think she knows the material pretty well; honestly I’m not even sure what else we could have done to get her prepared. I told her we would like for her to get at least a B.

I know she’s nervous. I’m nervous for her. I slept poorly all night.

But, I also know more than I really wanted to know about the early peoples of …