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I don’t really like shoes.  I know that may seem like an odd thing for someone to say, but it’s the truth.  I am barefoot as much as possible, and when I do have to wear shoes, I am in my Reef flip flops over 90% of the time. (Yep, I have totally adapted to my SoCal climate.  Socks?  What are those?)  When I was working outside the home, I owned 3 pairs of high heels – one black pair, and two brown pair (and I only had 2 because of a BOGO promo at Payless).  I also own a pair of tennis shoes, and a few pair of dress sandals that I’ve gotten for various dressy outfits. 

Somehow, this awesome low-cost shoe attitude didn’t get passed on in my DNA.  My daughters are shoe addicts.  Bugster doesn’t even walk, yet.  But her shoe collection is vast. 

Bugster's vast collection

Bugster sees shoes and has an almost visceral reaction.  She starts to tremble with excitement and reaches out for them.  She sits on the floor and stretches her legs out in front of her, begging me with her eyes to please, please put those shoes on her feet.  (Bugster is also going through a wonderful shoe eating phase, but I’m just going to overlook that for now . .  .)  Yes, I have bought a lot of these shoes for her.  But little girl shoes are so stinkin’ cute!  And so cheap!  If I could get tennis shoes that were cute, comfy, and stylish for under $20, I would probably own a pair for each day of the week!

I know what you’re thinking: you have 2 girls; what’s the big deal?  I have heard that, as a rule, you shouldn’t hand shoes down because they form to your kids’ feet.  So, except for some special occasion shoes, I haven’t passed any of them down from one to the other.  I should get around to asking our pediatrician if that’s even true.  I imagine I will.  Someday.

Now, The Big Cheese can certainly walk, and she does more than her share of talking (more about that in a future post), so her reaction to shoes is very much a verbal one.  She sees shoes she wants, and she lets you know about it.  About a year ago, The Big Cheese saw a picture of some red Mary Janes in a book and declared that she wanted some just like it.  One phone call to Grandma, and 2 adorable pairs of red shoes arrived in the mail.  (Thanks, Grandma!  They really are cute!)  What is it about little girls’ shoes that has everyone wanting to buy them, including me?

Yep, The Big Cheese wears all of these!

And why, oh why, are my children obsessed with shoes?  There was a rough period where The Big Cheese insisted she had to have a pair of purple tennis shoes.  Unable to find any at a less than criminal price, I stalled.  And stalled.  Thankfully, the purple shoe obsession waned and she moved on to something else.  If this continues, I may have to send them to toddler rehab for shoe addiction – and myself to therapy for being an enabler!

The Legal Eagle

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Potty Training a Stubborn Preschooler

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When Big E was about two and a half I looked at him one day and decided it was time to potty train him. I purchased some big boy underwear, got some treats, spent about a week at home with him, and there you had it… I had a potty trainer toddler. So when my very “spirited” three year old Little C turned 2, I started introducing him to the potty. Let’s just say it’s been 18 long months of a very frustrating relationship.

Let me take you back to the beginning. When Little C was born, he was induced several weeks early. He had a very weak sucking mechanism so getting him to breast-feed was ridiculously difficult, but I kept at it. 2 months of the La Leche League later, I had a confidant breast-feeding baby. Little C has always been challenging. He would cry non stop unless I would hold him, so I found myself doing everything with him in a sling, even the dishes. On my birthday, he refused to take a bottle from my mother-in-law and went 12 hours without eating… at 6 months old!!

As the toddler years came it didn’t get any better, the headstrong stubborn behavior turned into screams and cries of power struggles. By his second birthday we were at the pediatrician’s office and she pointed out to me that he was far behind his other kid counterparts in his speech development. This totally explained his outbreaks; he couldn’t communicate. Everything has been a struggle, but gosh darn it he’s so darn cute! Two and a half, I start the potty introduction, not good. At his third year checkup I explained to his pediatrician that he was not interested at all, she told me to give it a rest for 3 months and then reintroduce him to it. Got it…

So here we are now, at three and half trying to start potty training with a head strong, speech delayed, stubborn preschooler. I’m trying to find a preschool for him, he NEEDS to go to a preschool twice a week… I NEED him to go to preschool twice a week, but no one wants him at his age unless he’s potty-trained. Its not like he’s a dog for crying out loud, he’s a human being. So once again I bring out the potty. I do all the right things, I have the rewards system (I even made him a cute little container with candies for him), I have a potty in almost every room, we’ve gone days without any diapers and nothing works. And don’t tell me he’s not ready, he has every single sign of being ready, he’s just stubborn!

I know what you’re all thinking… well she hasn’t done THIS, or she hasn’t tried THAT. May I remind you I potty-trained Big E in less than 2 weeks. Let me explain how Little C does things. We spent 45 minutes in front of the TV watching his favorite movie, E.T. with him sitting on his potty. I ask him every 5-10 minutes to go Pee or Poop for mommy, and he’ll get a candy. Mommy has to use the restroom, I go to the bathroom, and not even 2 minutes later my son has moved from his potty, found the only place in our house that has carpet, and takes the largest, most giant dump I have seen from a kid his age on my office floor!

That my friends is a clear power play… the battle continues.

The Photo Addict


You know that little voice inside your head that scolds you when you do something wrong? The one that questions why you just did what you did? Mine used to say things like “Duh”, “Hope no one was looking” and “What was I thinking???” But once my child started talking regularly, my internal voice became drowned out by the external sound of my toddler. Some of those things I used to say only to myself were suddenly being spoken out loud by him. Many of my actions were being scrutinized and questioned. If you’ve ever had a little one, I’m sure you can relate. To the parents of a toddler to be, I give you fair warning. Be prepared to have everything you say or do observed and/or commented on. The good, the bad and, unfortunately, the ugly.And they remember.

Like once when I inadvertently opened an emergency exit door in a McDonald’s playground. Bells started to ring and it was a bit embarrassing but basically no big deal. To me that is. It left quite an impression on my boy.Two years later, his little voice still gives warning every time we’re out and he sees a suspicious looking door with a sign on it. “MOMMY,” he says, “DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR, IT IS ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES.” Should I venture just a little too close for comfort, the voice becomes increasingly frantic. “MOMMY, NO! DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR, YOU ARE GOING TO SET OFF THE ALARM LIKE YOU DID AT MCDONALD’S!

If I knock over a display at the grocery store (something I am prone to do), no longer can I non-chalantly walk away and pretend it didn’t happen. No, I can always count on an announcement to be made on the spot. “MOMMY, WHY DID YOU KNOCK THAT STUFF OVER? YOU SHOULD PICK IT UP, WHAT A MESS.” Sigh. Things that you might think but would never say out loud are just put out there like “MOMMY, THAT IS A REEEAAALLLY BIG PERSON, ISN’T IT?” Uh, sorry lady.

Then there is the parroting. Sometimes I hear myself in a positive light. “ABSOLUTELY MOMMY. IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE TO DO THAT FOR YOU.” Sometimes not so much. “MOMMY, I TOLD YOU THAT BEFORE! WHAT DIDN’T YOU UNDERSTAND?”

Lately there has been a big push by children’s programming to make kids aware of environmental issues. So the little voice alerts me every time I leave a light on, leave the water running or leave the refrigerator open too long. Somehow we are also personally responsible for picking up every tiny piece of trash we see at the park. Thanks, Sesame Street. Too bad your lessons about eating your vegetables were a complete failure!

Should I want to be spontaneous and spend a little extra on lunches out or a new item of clothing, there is no hiding it from my spouse. As soon as he walks in the door there is a full report waiting. “GUESS WHERE MOMMY TOOK ME TODAY? WE WENT TO CHIC-FIL-A! AND WE WENT TO KOHLS. LOOK WHAT WE GOT!” Rats. The following week it’s “MOMMY FORGOT HER HOUSE KEYS AT THE YMCA AND WE HAD TO GO BACK AND I DIDN’T WANT TO”. Just yesterday he reported that “I PLAYED BY MYSELF THIS MORNING BECAUSE MOMMY DIDN’T WANT TO GET UP”. Fortunately, I am not the only one who hears the voice. He comes back from time with Daddy with similar news. “DADDY LET ME EAT TWO DONUTS TODAY” or “WHEN DADDY WAS DRIVING HE SAID **** “

Watch out if you say you are going to do something and don’t follow through.
“WHY DID YOU SAY NO TV AND THEN YOU LET ME? WERE YOU KIDDING?Just looking for a few minutes to myself.
“YOU SHOULD NOT LET ME HAVE ANOTHER COOKIE BECAUSE I HAD TWO ALREADY”. I didn’t catch that one, just go with it son. It’s tough getting called out by a pre-schooler.

And then there’s the thing I waited a long time to hear yet makes me cringe when he says it loudly in public. “I POOPED AND PEED IN THE POTTY! MY BODY MADE A NOISE AND THEN IT CAME OUT!

At the end of the day, however, it is that same lovely voice that gives me my pick-me-up. Rocky is always singing to me and smiling. He is extremely cuddly. Hugs and kisses abound. Clearly I am his favorite. “YOU ARE THE BEST MOMMY I EVER HAD”, my little one declares. “I LIKE YOU. I LOVE YOU. YOU ARE BYOOTIFUL. DOES THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY?” he asks. Indeed it does, kid. Indeed it does. I really am going to miss that voice some day.

The Librarian

***The Gen X Moms are no longer writing as a group (too many scheduling conflicts) but you can continue reading about my adventures with Rocky on my new blog at: