Life and Links of 0417

Life in April has consisted of trying to find a new normal for our family of five.
  • Holding onto Mr Nice's carseat while chatting with people in church so I don't leave without him, because I'm so used to just grabbing the girls and leaving
  • Finding and making time to connect with my daughters who are regularly demanding "mommy time"
  • Cleaning, rearranging and decluttering the house
  • Nipping Mr Nice's reflux in the bud with Enfamil Thickened formula - he's a happier baby already after 4 days on this and if he's happy, I'm happy
Reading: Most impactful book I read this month was The Essential Enneagram. I'm a big, dorky fan of personality typing and this ranks as the best I've come across yet. P.S I'm a Type 5; an Observer

Watching: Dave Chappelle's 2017 show on Netflix.

Listening: Hillsong Worship's What a Beautiful Name on repeat. Those words are so moving and powerful!

In other news, here are my favorite links and things from April:

We're already in planning mode for our summer vacation and my money-saving heart is happy to know that our destination has free museums

I'm ok with telling my kids they don't have to share

How many ways can you say "I love you" to your kids? Here's 42 ways

I love to imagine my daughters writing this sometime in the future

I love this dad's sense of humor though I'm thankful he's not my dad

And finally, if you haven't found Buzzfeed Tasty on Instagram, you're missing out

A post shared by Tasty (@buzzfeedtasty) on

Talking to My 6 Year Olds About Sex

The twins are 6 years old and that apparently is the age where all sorts of pointed questions about sex get asked. Add a newborn baby into the mix and the questions roll out even faster and "furiouser". And of course, mommy is the answerer of all such questions. I confess that I've been negligent in preparing myself to answer those questions. Should have read a few books on talking to kids about sex but life was too short and I was too busy.


Regardless of my tardiness in reading up on the subject, I've handled the conversations with a combination of correction, diversion and education. The conversations go somehow like this:

Correction
Objective: To fix the misinformation usually got from their peers

Spice: So mommy, are you going to feed the baby with you boobies?
Me: What are boobies?
Spice: Those round things on your chest
Me: Who told you they're called boobies? Tip: Always find out who else has been having conversations about sex or body parts with your kids
Spice: Ryan in my class. He said they are called boo-boos when they're small and boobies when they're big
Me: They're called breasts and yes, I'm going to be feeding the baby with the milk that comes out

Diversion
Objective: To postpone the conversation until the kids (or you) are better equipped to handle it 

After a candid conversation of how babies get in mommies' tummies
Sugar: How do the babies come out of the mom's tummy?
Me: The doctor takes them out
Sugar: Does the doctor cut the mommy's tummy?
Me: Yes, sometimes the doctor does that.
Sugar: Sometimes? So how else do the babies come out of the mom's tummy?
Me: *Thinking* oh shit! oh Shit! oh SHIT! I'm not ready for this! I should have read the book!
Sugar: *In a louder voice* I said, how do the babies come out of their mom's tummy?
Me: Would you like popcorn chicken or drumstick?
Sugar: I don't really want chicken...*launches into a soliloquy of reasons why she hates chicken*

Education
Objective: Teach them how to name body parts without being bashful

Spice: My baby brother has that thingie in his front bumbum?
Me: Yes, it's called a penis. Boys have penises and girls have vaginas
Spice: Yeah, I once saw ... penis in daycare when he was peeing
Me: OK.

Obviously, I've handled some of the conversations better than others. To be honest, I thought some of the questions would come much later in life... when the girls were closer to 10. I was mistaken.

Have you walked this path yet? Any tips for this mama?

Blogging With Kids

Blogging with kids! 

It's sorta like walking while chewing gum; spit is produced in copious amounts and regardless of that, you have to keep moving forward.

I'm not sure that the analogy above even makes sense but one thing I'm sure of is that sooner or later everyone that's blogging while parenting asks themselves the pertinent question: should I do this? should I blog about my kids? The "Yes" and "No" sides of this equation have been weighed by me over the last 6+ years and both sides are worth hearing.


No, do not blog about your kids because

  1. It invades their privacy especially when they are too young to consent to the information being shared. Imagine little Johnny's future employer or colleagues googling his name and learning all about his potty quirks
  2. It exploits them especially in cases where their photos are used to promote the parents' "brand" in sponsored posts or for some other monetary gain.
  3. It compromises their safety where suddenly random strangers know their names, what they look like, their favorite cereal, where they live etc. Thanks to Hollywood, we all have a fairly healthy dose of paranoia and imagine what all the villians in the movies could do with this information
Yes, blog about your kids because
  1. It's a living childhood journal. I have printed photobooks for each year of the twins' life and they are at the age where they enjoy flipping through the books and remembering when they were babies. A blog can serve the same purpose; as an online journal that kids can one day review with nostalgia.
  2. It captures the parents' voice. Why would capturing your voice as a parent be important? Let me share my personal experience as a daughter. My mother died when I was 5 years old so I really have no emotional database of her voice, tone or personal idiosyncrasies to humanize my memories of her. For the longest time, she was just a saintly figure crowned in a corner of my heart. That is until I found her diary and read her thoughts as a mother written by her own hand in her own voice. Reading the diary of my mother marked a major turning point in my life's journey as a motherless daughter - I went from assuming my mother loved me to knowing definitively that she did because of how she wrote about me in my diary. If you grew up with a mother, this concept may be hard for you to wrap your mind around but trust me, it was a big deal for me. Authoring a blog is a way of capturing some of your essence for your kids in case they'll need it for their emotional memory bank.
So, blogging with kids, yay or nay? From the length of the individual points above, it's fairly easy to see which one matters to me the most. For the first 4 years of authoring this blog, it's purpose was to serve as a guide for other twin moms. Today, it's purpose has shifted a little. I still want to share my learnings as a parent, but I also want to "capture" my voice for my kids. 

Today, I say "Yay" and that's what it'll be until the "Nay" becomes stronger. 
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