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The Reluctant Reader


I’ve loved reading as soon as I learned to. I gobble up books but also have this book hangover I go through after each book I read. It can be hard to keep up with my reading with a kid in the house who always wants my attention. I naturally assumed since I loved to read, my dna would make her feel the same.

Oh, how wrong I was. Asking her to read and having her actually do it is like pulling teeth. Once she gets started reading, she’ll sometimes get into it. Or, if I suggest reading to her, she whines nooooooo. I love reading her the Ramona Quimby books and she’ll independently read the Princess Posey books which I highly suggest since oh my god she actually reads them, thank you sweet baby jeebus, but again, getting her started up in reading is the biggest pain in the ass.

Here are the stages I’ve gone through with my reluctant reader.

Stage one: You need to read for ten minutes. Yes. Yes. No, you’re not going to see if Samantha is home. You’re going to read. Yes. Yes! Please go and read. Please? Just read. 10 minutes. That’s all I ask. Read. Read now. I got you several different books to choose from at the library today. Maybe you just haven’t found the books that you find interesting yet. So, please go read. Yes! Read! Go!

Stage two: Would you like me to read to you? Why not? Well, let’s have you read to me. Why not? Please? Let’s just sit down and you can read to me for only 10 minutes. You need to ready every day. Yes, you do. Yes. Please read now. Why not, Well, I’m sorry that you have a scratch on your ankle but that doesn’t mean you can’t read. No, it doesn’t. No, it doesn’t. Please, hummingbird. Just read to me for five minutes then. Five minutes! No, it’s not that long. Okay, how about this. You can have a cookie after dinner. Okay, ice cream then. Yes, you can have chocolate sauce but then you have to read for ten minutes. You don’t want chocolate sauce then? Oh, you do. Then, yes, read for 10 minutes. Please just read now. Please!

Stage three: Okay, it’s time to read. We have two hours before dinner. Why don’t read for 20 minutes to yourself while I read too. Why not? No, you can’t watch PAW Patrol. It’s time to read. No. There’s no PAW Patrol while we read. The television is going off. There. Please read. Whichever book you want. There must be something you’d like to read in our library book bag. You picked out all the books. Please, pick something and read. Then, I’ll pick. Here. Okay, then you pick something now. Please, hummingbird. That looks good. Okay, you have twently minutes. No, I said for twenty minutes. Not ten. Twenty. Hummingbird, it’s only for twenty minutes. I’m not asking you to jump off a cliff. Twenty minutes and then you’ll be done for the day. Okay, how about if you read for twenty minutes and you can watch PAW Patrol. No. You can’t watch two. Just one for twenty minutes of reading. Fine, thirty minutes of reading and then you can watch two PAW Patrol’s. No, you can’t watch three. Only two if you read for thirty minutes. Okay. Thank you.

Stage four: Read! Yes! Now! Please, read now! I don’t care if you don’t want to. READ!

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6. Tell your kid almost every night that they need to drink less water so they don’t have to get up to be 3 or four times within an hour after bedtime. Then, easily forget to have your kid drink less because you’re trying to get them to hurry up with their bath or shower and they’re moving slower than slugs.

5. Go back and forth on what qualifies as pajamas, She has a drawer full of jammies, yet that’s too easy. She’ll want to wear one of her day shirts with her pajama bottoms but I know that’s one of her favorite shirts to wear to school and summer camp but she wants to wear it NOW! I have to pick my battles so I either quickly give in or tell her to change into a pajama top and that’s that.

4, When you say one hug and then I’m going, stick with it. Then once you get out in the hallway, feel like shit for denying your kid one more hug and go back, but this is the last time! Yeah, right.

3. We start the bedtime routine about an hour and a half before bedtime but even if it’s a little earlier or later, she never gets to bed on time. I’m so over it that I will basically do whatever will keep her in her bed so she’ll finally get to sleep.

2. That can sometimes require me to leave all the nights on upstairs. We have this thing about leaving ights on when we’re not in a room, but after over two hours of your kid fighting bedtime, I’ll be desperate.

1. She’s finally in bed and seemingly asleep so I get out some snacks and prepare to watch UnReal or Teen Mom when I hear her little voice from upstairs saying Mom? Mooom? I’m scared! What’s that noise from the t.v.? Are you eating something?


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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I first started uttering this sentence last year. I never really got it until I took a good look at my house and saw it in such disarray and I wanted to ugly cry. I only have a 7 year-old but she makes the mess of twenty frat boys. Add to that a husband and holy shit, I’m done for.

Burps and farts galore – We instilled in the hummingbird at a young age that these things were funny. Now, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. My husband came from a “prim and proper” household where they NEVER did that and I honestly don’t think my in-laws have ever let out a good burp in private which could be why they are the way they are.

There’s no farting at the table but it doesn’t stop the hummingbird to let one rip which then makes me gag. The hubby will follow that with a large burp which he never usually did until we had the bird and poop and barf were a big subject between us when she was a baby. I’ve created gassy monsters.

Clothes everywhere – Asking kids to put their dirty clothes in a laundry basket is apparently one of the most difficult tasks since they end up leaving them all over the bedroom floor and scattered throughout the house. There’s a dress laying by our front door, dirty socks by the stairs, and shorts and a skirt just lying on the floor in the kitchen.

No matter how many times I stress to my 7 year-old that she must pick up her clothes, I end up being the one to pick all of that up. Her room on the other hand is her responsibility, which is why I try to avoid it. Her complaint is that “I can’t clean all this up myself” and my response is “But, you made the mess so you need to pick it up.”

Itty bitty Lego all over – The hummingbird and hubby love playing with Legos. I’ve never gotten it and have tried to be involved too but I’m just not into you, Lego. I have found there is something more painful than stepping on a lego. A few months ago, I stepped on a small My Little Pony and I’m not sure my foot will ever recover.

The shoe fight – Not only has the hummingbird acquired more shoes than I have, which is totally my fault, every damn morning, we still go through the shoe struggle. It starts off with the simple request of her getting her shoes on and ends up with me practically on my knees, begging for her to just put on shoes that fit.

Somehow, the shoes she outgrew keep coming back in the mudroom, even after hiding them from her, and it goes back and forth with me telling her she needs to wear shoes that fit. But no, that would be too easy. She wants to wear the shoes that just a week before, were hurting her feet. Oy!

Food on the floor that looks like someone went on a drunk eating binge – The little bird is currently going through a growth spurt which is awesome but most food seems to make it on the table and the floor than in her mouth. I wasn’t sure how that happens until a few nights ago after being at summer camp all day, she came home like she had been given red bull.

She couldn’t sit still at dinner and kept on hopping up to show us some dance moves she learned or she would sing us a song. She was bitten by the acting bug last year when she saw a school play of an older friend. And, just last week, after months of rehearsals, she was in a children’s stage production that she loved doing. So, she has been singing non stop for the past few months.

I’m all for that put please don’t fling your food around at the dinner table while getting up to belt out songs. It’s not just the food left under and around the dining room table but a buffet also starts forming around the couch and coffee table. The worst things I’ve stepped on, besides pee, is grapes and macaroni and cheese. The mushy feeling on the bottom of my foot is nasty.

I farted or I’m pooping – Even when it isn’t apparent, the bird has to make it known that she farted. Then, I get a whiff and run like hell from the room which she finds hysterical. When I can finally come back to the room, I’ll ask her what she’s been eating because damn, with all the food she leaves on the floor, one would think she has nothing to release that’s so stinky and awful. I also thought after the whole potty training experience, I wouldn’t have to deal with poop anymore but nope. She has to announce it every single time.

Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart and the smells and sounds will knock your ass out.

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Being Four: The F*ck You Fours

If you’re still standing after four years of parenthood, or tilting over a little, congratulations. Break out the champagne! This is the fuck you fours. You should check your child’s head for 666.

This age made me feel like a ball in a pinball machine. One second, my daughter would be playing peacefully and 30 seconds later, she would throw whatever she was playing with in anger or frustration. Kind of like a mic drop.

So, here I am, the little pinball being whacked here, there, everywhere when it came to dealing with my 4 year-old’s emotions and attitude.

This was also when the door slamming started, like the hummingbird was 4 going on 14. The fuck you fours isn’t as what the fuckish as the toddler pms stage but it did seem to be more emotionally draining.

The sweet side to this age is that although they act like they want you to fuck off, they love hard. The hummingbird also started writing more at this age and seeing her write “I love you” on a card turned me into a puddle. I also love all the talking she did. It was cute.

Sure, I didn’t know most of what she was talking about and even though she’s now seven, I still don’t. It’s like this:

Mom, do you see me in the back seat? Mom? Mom?? Mom, I like this song. Do you like it? Mom, do you like it too? Why did you wave to that car? Do you know them? Mom, why did you wave? At school today, Tess and I played this game where we threw a ball and then hopped on one foot but if you don’t hop high enough, you have to take 10 steps back and then Spencer and that crazy boy came over and we decided to play chase and whoever won actually loses and then you have to take 5 jumps to the right and lose a turn while the rest of us hit a baseball and the other person has to shout woohoo each time we take a step….

I don’t know what it is about kids and games but they have 10,000 instructions.

Anyway, while the fuck you fours can be trying and I occasionally thought during this age how much longer until she’s 18 and out of the house, they are also at a very lovable age. Because they know if they weren’t, we would eat them.

*One Week

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Being Three: Who Pissed In Your Sippy Cup?


Being three. Holy shit. This was a tough age.

My kid would be so sweet one second and the next, had an attitude and looked at me like she was going to shoot lasers out of her eyes. I remember that it seemed impossible to make my 3 year-old happy.

It’s like me when I’m pms’ing and really want a snicker’s but all we have are peanut butter cups and I’m thinking fuck this, I want a snicker’s. That’s the attitude of a 3 year-old.

And the tantrums. Holy shit, the tantrums are epic. This is the age where vodka came into my life a little more frequently.

They really love to test the limits and figure out how to push your buttons.

But, there are the really cool things that balance it out. When they’re not throwing themselves on the ground screaming, they actually talk to where you can have conversations with them.

With my daughter and I, it was about poop because it made her laugh and my god, handling a 3 year-old is like handling a bomb so you love to hear a laugh from them. It’s much better than the ear-piercing screeching you have to deal with.

The hummingbird wasn’t a terror 24/7, like I’m making it sound. We got pretty lucky with her as she has a pretty even temperament. It could just feel like she was a devil on wheels through much of being three because when your kid acts like that, it feels like the moment is never-ending.

But then she would laugh at a poop joke and my sanity was restored for a short time.

*If You Ever Want To Be In Love

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Being Two: Like A Puppy Who Had A Six Pack Of Red Bull


If humans ate their young, this would be the age that we’d do it. At this age, they’re fine one second and screaming on the floor the next second because you cut their fruit up the “wrong” way. This is the toddler pms stage and I barely survived. I was also in a deep depression so that made it even worse.

It sucks ass. But when you’re about to run from the house with plans to move to the Bahamas, they do something really cute and then I would feel like such an asshole. I’m certain that kids have some kind of radar for this and it alerts them to enter the cute mode.

They also love saying “NO” at this age all the fucking time. Everything is no with them. For instance, you know they’re tired and need a nap but those little monsters will say no and refuse. Since tying them to a bed is forbidden, you end up with a very cranky, toddler pms’ing 2 year-old on your hands.

On top of that, “the witching hour” comes and that’s when you feel like sprinting out of the house again. No matter how much you prepare for it and try to avoid it, there was always those 2 hours, between 3-5pm, when the hummingbird acted like a lunatic.

I would bribe and beg and bribe some more but nothing ever works with the witching hour.

Finally, my husband would come home from work and I’d hand him our daughter and take off running upstairs. Later on that night, I would tell him what a hell of a day I had and he’d make some remark that she seemed fine when he got home. And then, I smothered him with a pillow.

Kidding. Maybe. Of course.

*Use Somebody

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Being One: Drunk Baby Stage

The hummingbird is nearly seven. 7 YEARS-OLD!! So, I’ve been reminiscing on the years that seem to have gone by way too fast. That used to drive me crazy, when I would hear it goes by so fast. This was before babies though.

It would always be “take in everything, it goes by so fast” you won’t believe how fast it goes” “blink and you’ll miss it because they grow so fast”. But like everyone, I thought I will pay attention to everything my kid does so I don’t miss anything and time will slow to a crawl once I was a mom.

And now, my daughter is almost 7 years-old! Seven!! What the hell?

At the time that she was one, I didn’t realize how bad I had postpartum depression and anxiety. I look back now and want to hug that person. Despite not only having a really rough timeadjusting to being a mom but also embracing it, having a 1 year-old was pretty damn awesome. It’s the drunk baby stage. What’s not to love?

Having a one year old is like dealing with that drunk, unruly friend you used to have/currently have. They’re learning how to walk so they have that nice, little zig zag walking going on. I love the drunk baby walk.

They love doing sloppy things. Sloppy kisses, snotty noses, those lovely tantrums where they can go from happy as can be to pissed off toddler in 1.2 seconds.

They eat like they just came home from a drunk bender, stuff all over the floor, clothes, walls, up their nose. Everywhere.

Being one is filled with temperamental, sloppy, slobbery, drunk walking, I want to pull my hair out adventures.

What did you think when your baby was one? Did you love it? Want to run away from home?

*No One Knows

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