Author: JSeiderer

Date Days

In honor of Little’s upcoming third birthday (He’s three? What?!), I took him out for the day yesterday. Just me and Little, having a date. “Did you have fun with Mama on your outing today, Little?” “It wasn’t a outing, Dada, it was a DATE.” “Well excuuuuse me.” I always take vacation the week before each of the boys’ birthdays to prepare for the epic birthday cakes (see also The Birthday Cake Bar). I don’t actually need an entire week to make a cake, though, and I really shouldn’t be serving week-old cake anyway, so last year I came up with the idea of taking each birthday boy out for some one-on-one time. It was a huge hit so I decided to make it a yearly tradition. Over the weekend I was wracking my brain, trying to come up with some amazing and memorable events to do with Little. Monday night around 10 PM I was still stressing about it and searching online for kid-friendly activities. Just about then, my mister said the most amazing thing: “Babe, he just wants to be with you.” It might as well have been a bucket of cold water over my head. Of course he does. He just wants to spend time with his Mama, have me all to himself and not have to share me with Big. Such a simple idea, but...

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A fan letter to Margaret Wise Brown

  Disclaimer: Yes, I know that Margaret Wise Brown has been dead for over sixty years. Well, I actually didn’t know that until I started writing this post, but work with me here.   Dear Ms. Brown, I have always had a thing for bunnies and for this I blame you. Ha ha, nice cold open, right? Seriously, though, you are the inspiration for my love of all things cunicular. Oh sure, I have fond memories of Peter Rabbit, too, but now that I have kids of my own, Beatrix Potter has let me down. Her stories are quaint in retrospect but seriously, Mr. McGregor’s wife making Peter’s father into a pie?? How did I forget repress that part? No, Ms. Brown, you are far and away the authority on rabbits. I mean come on, who doesn’t love “The Runaway Bunny?” “Have a carrot” has to be the best example of a sorely tested mother never losing her cool. Her kid is trying desperately to escape her and not only does she stay calm, but she offers him a reward for that behavior? Classy.     “Goodnight Moon”? Please. I can recite that book word for word now and since I was the tender age of four. Your partnership with Clement Hurd on the illustrations was brilliant as I cannot even imagine bedroom curtains NOT being red and green...

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Sid Phillips is a Free-Range Kid

  If you don’t know who Sid Phillips is, you must not have a preschooler in the house. Sid is the bad seed kid in the first “Toy Story” movie. (He’s also the teenaged garbage man in “Toy Story 3,” which I presume is supposed to teach us that crime doesn’t pay or something. Protagonist Andy goes to college while antagonist Sid picks up garbage. I was under the impression that garbage men make good money, but I digress.) Since my kids became obsessed with watched the movie, we’ve used Sid as an example of how not to act, a cautionary tale of why you shouldn’t be mean or break your toys. In the end (SPOILER ALERT!), Sid is scared straight when the toys come to life and threaten him. What goes around, comes around. Recently, though, I’ve had cause to reevaluate my opinion of Sid. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know I’m a big proponent of free-range parenting. I am not a helicopter parent and I want my kids to have as much freedom, risks and all, as possible. I found this video over the weekend:   Sid Phillips may not have climbed a tree on film, but he definitely did some of these other dangerous things! Walk to school. We’ll never know if Sid went to school at all, but he rode his...

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Lullabies that aren’t

The other night when I was putting Little down for bed, I sang him the following “lullabies:”  “The Rainbow Connection” by Kermit “Somebody” by Depeche Mode “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt   “One of these things. . . is not like the others . . . doo doo doooooo . . .” Okay, so the Kermit song is fine. If not actually a lullaby, it’s at least a children’s song. Or at the very least, it was sung by a Muppet so it qualifies. But the others? Not so much. Go look up the lyrics to the Depeche Mode song if you are unfamiliar, it is wiggida wiggida whacked. Apparently my younger child is going to experience a world of heartache and loneliness that will start very, very early. Either that or Mama has to update her repertoire of slow songs to get it out of the 80s. I am not a fan of children’s music. Oh, I know, some of you will mention Dan Zanes, Steve Songs, Frances England and They Might Be Giants. I just can’t do it. For my first baby shower, my BFF gave me a CD of “kid songs.” I find this compilation tolerable, even enjoyable, because it’s composed of old-school favorites such as Perry Como’s “Catch a Falling Star,” Johnny Mercer’s “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” and Louis Prima’s “Banana Split for My...

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How kids see the world

One of the best things about having kids is that they make you look at the world in a whole new way. Kids have a completely different perspective on the world than adults do. Sometimes the things that they see are scary, like the way that we see a spider on the ceiling . . .   . . . compared to the way that they do.     And that closet door that you left open a crack?   They see it as a portal to the monster world.   But sometimes the things that kids see are wondrous and beautiful and imaginative, like the space under the kitchen table . . .   . . . that becomes a train tunnel at a moment’s notice . . .   . . . or that peeling bathroom ceiling that you’ve been meaning to fix . . .   . . . but now you can’t because you don’t want to paint over the happy whale . . .   . . . or the way that you see yourself . . .   . . . compared to the way that your children see you. They see the real you and you are amazing. Please note: All of the photos and the crude drawings are mine. Thanks to South Park and Hyperbole and a Half for making us...

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